I have records on my various playlists that were single hits for an individual artist or group but they were never followed up by another chart success. I also wonder what happened to the artist. So I am going to track some of them down and find out more…..starting with the 1950s – I am taking them from the list kindly supplied by Wikipedia
Rockin’ Robin by Bobby Day… 1958
This week Bobby Day, who was involved in several hits of the 1950s in various groups, and had a massive hit with Rockin’ Robin in 1958.. he was also a songwriter and co-wrote several hit songs, but never had another chart topper in his own right.
Background to the song…Song Facts
Originally titled “Rock-In Robin,” this was the only Top 40 hit for Bobby Day, whose sound was a hybrid of pop and R&B. His innocent, upbeat songs were a great fit for Michael Jackson, who’s 1972 recording of “Rockin’ Robin” also went to #2 in the US. Also in 1972, Michael’s group The Jackson Five went to #13 with Bobby Day’s “Little Bitty Pretty One.” Day’s version of “Rockin’ Robin” was a #1 R&B hit.
About Bobby Day
Bobby Day (Robert Byrd) was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1930 and a the age of 15 moved to Los Angeles. He was a member of the Hollywood Flames formed in 1949 The original members were Bobby Byrd (lead), David Ford, Curlee Dinkins and Willie Ray Rockwell. The band members changed over the next six years several times an they were joined in 1955 by Earl Nelson
In 1957, the group – Byrd, Ford, Dinkins and Nelson – signed with Class Records, where Byrd was renamed “Bobby Day”. The group recorded as The Hollywood Flames, as Bobby Day & the Satellites, and as Earl Nelson & the Pelicans. In July 1957, Bobby Day & the Satellites recorded “Little Bitty Pretty One”, which was covered more successfully by Thurston Harris. Later that year, The Hollywood Flames – with Nelson singing lead – released “Buzz-Buzz-Buzz”, co-written by Byrd, which reached #5 on the R&B chart and #11 on the pop chart.
Byrd (alias Day) then left The Hollywood Flames, but continued to release singles, at first as Bobby Day & the Satellites, and then as a solo performer. His greatest success came in 1958 with “Rockin’ Robin” co-written with Jesse Thomas (Leon Rene).. I am suprised they managed to keep track of themselves!
Bobby Day’s best known songwriting efforts were “Over and Over”, later made popular by The Dave Clark Five in 1965 and “Little Bitty Pretty One“, popularized by Thurston Harris in 1957, Clyde McPhatter in 1962, and the Jackson Five in 1972.
‘Rockin’ Robin’ sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold record in 1958. It was covered by The Hollies in 1964, Gene Vincent in 1969, Michael Jackson in 1972, and by McFly in 2006.
Bobby Day died of prostate cancer in 1990 and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California
Additional sources: Wikepedia
You can buy the music by Bobby Day on Amazon
If you wonder what happened to the artist of your favourite one hit wonder, then let me know their name in the comments and I will see what I can find out…..
Thanks for tuning in… next week William Price King is back with another jazz instrumentalist…